LOST UNDER TWO MOONS, by Lindsay Schopfer is an intriguing debut novel by an indie author. I was up until 2:00 am reading it--I found it that compelling.
Alone. Stranded. Richards Parks, a college student from Washington State, finds himself on Other World, a place of fantasy and horror. With no companion but a makeshift journal, Richard must quickly learn the unfamiliar dangers around him as he struggles daily to survive. From the approach of winter to eerily intelligent packs of nightmarish creatures, each entry details another trial of life or death. But when Richard finds the remnants of an ancient civilization, he begins to wonder if he is truly alone, and whether or not the lost people of Other World still hold the secrets that could return him home to Earth.
Lost Under Two Moons is an unusual science fiction adventure. It is a castaway tale, with a real twist. There are only two characters, which is an intriguing notion in itself. The majority of the novel is comprised of journal entries written by the protagonist, Richard. His frank observations and wry commentary are impossible to put down. There are also journal entries written by an alien archeologist, and this juxtaposition is quite well done.
It soon becomes clear Richard is never going home. Despite the weight of severe depression and loneliness he is unwilling to die. He finds the strength within himself to do many things he never thought himself capable of through trial and error, using only the things he has available from his crash landing. The author never resorts to conveniently placed items. Richard has to craft what he needs and his tools and his efforts are crude, but he is able to survive by using his creativity.
There is a great deal of action, as Richard must deal with alien wildlife and learn what plants and animals he can eat, and which beasts he should fear. Shelter and reliable sources of water remain a struggle for him, and what works one day often does not work the next. His basic resources are limited, though his difficulties are not. Richard must adapt or die.
The tale is exceedingly well-crafted, not at all a rehash of Robinson Crusoe gets lost in another dimension, as it so could easily have become. Schopfer weaves the story in such a way the reader experiences Richard’s triumphs and tragedies as he recounts them in his diary.
I found myself thinking about Richard Parks long after I finished the book—a sure sign of a great tale.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Lindsay Schopfer is also the author of The Beast Hunter, an online fantasy serial and has had numerous short stories and articles published. Since 2011, he has served as the Sci-fi/Fantasy category chair for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's annual literary contest.